Biking down the canal

I’ve been upgrading and fixing my bike a bit in the past week. Nothing major, but I finally got a rack and a pannier! I highly recommend this to anyone that uses a bike much. It’s a million times nicer than a backpack, especially when it’s hot out. Much easier on my back too – a heavy pack puts all the weight into just the wrong places.

The bag I eventually decided on, after spending a very long time perusing bike forums and looking at the offering at MEC (they’ve mostly sold out this season’s supply, apparently!) and other stores was the Arkel Bug. It’s very nice. I particularly like how it converts to a backpack – most of the panniers out there are well-made, but they’re designed for people on long trips who leave the bag on the bike most of the time. For something that I’ll be carrying around to stores and work all the time, this is far better. It’s also just very well-made, and as a bonus, the company’s based in Quebec!

I also picked up a bike computer (i.e. speedometer + odometer) from MEC. It’s the cheapest one they offer, though now I’m thinking the next model up might have been nice to have. It’s no big deal, but it’d be nice to have it display your maximum and average speeds. But I just couldn’t justify the extra $2.

I also finally got around to adjusting the saddle a bit. It’s never been perfectly comfy, so I tried tipping it forward a little bit. It felt much better at first, but I think it was just a little too much, since it put much more weight on my arms, and my butt started getting sore after 45 minutes or so. So I reduced the angle a little, and also slid it back an inch or two, and I think it’s an improvement! Luckily, it’s a very easy thing to adjust. I think I’ll just keep some hex keys in my bag for the next little while in case more fiddling is warranted.

Finally, my chain needed some work after the rain on the weekend, so I cleaned it and squirted in some oil. Seems much nicer now!

So, with a functional bike, and all sorts of toys, I decided it was time to do some exploring around Montreal. Can you believe that I had never traveled down the Lachine Canal? It’s a really nice path, gentle, flat, with lots of trees. I stopped at the end of the Canal, but next time I might go further, and keep travelling by Lachine. Apparently that’s also very nice.
view of the trail

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